Your mind is like a time machine.
Yup, a time machine.
It’s lucky for us that our mind can conceptualize the past and the future. It’s a hugely useful ability. It allows us to reflect on and learn from the past and to predict and plan for the future.
As we grow older, our mind gets better and better at doing tricks like conjuring up the past and the future. But, unfortunately, this often creates problems.
As children, we can easily live in the present, but by adulthood our mind is like an out of control time machine that constantly pulls us back into the past or forward into the future.
As a result, we spend a lot of time in the past reliving old hurts, failures, rejections and mistakes. Or, a lot of time in the future worrying about everything that could go wrong.
And, meanwhile we’re missing out on life in the present.
It’s hard to get any satisfaction or fulfillment from your life if you’re not actually present to appreciate it.
So one important part of overcoming social anxiety, and really any so called “mental health issues” is learning how to do that – to shift from time machine mode to appreciating what’s here and now.
And… you guessed it… that’s exactly what I’m going to teach you how to do in this episode.
- The one thing you’ll notice about confident people is that they are very engaged in whatever it is they are doing.
- When we keep our attention on what we are doing and are fully engaged in whatever task we’re doing, then it doesn’t matter what our minds say. Our thoughts just come and go.
- It’s about paying attention with openness, curiosity and flexibility.
- Even if your experience in this moment is difficult or unpleasant, you can be open to it and curious about it without running away from it or fighting it. And, flexibility comes in when you can consciously direct or focus your attention on different aspects of your experience.
- It’s humanly impossible to be anxious and present in the moment at the same time. You can’t do it.
- The more fully we can contact our here and now experience, the more effectively we can act and the more fulfilling life becomes.
You can download a copy of this episode’s transcript by clicking here.
Choose any one of the simple mindful techniques we went over in this episode or that are in the handout and practice it whenever you feel yourself starting to “zone out” or “flip out,” whenever you’re entering a stressful situation or at any opportunity you have throughout the day.